Arugula and Radish Greens Pesto

Don’t you hate it when you have arugula AND radish leaves in your fridge and don’t know what to do with them aside from salad? (Note from Hilary: Is that a problem that people actually have ever?)  Well, do I have a recipe for you! PESTOOOOOOOooooo. I made my pesto with almonds (but walnuts or pine nuts would be great as well), garlic, arugula, radish greens, olive oil, salt and pepper, and parmesan.  This is really easy (and cheap) to make and is a great way to use up some extra greens you have (like spinach! or go the traditional route and use basil), or use greens you never thought of even using, like radish leaves!


Radish leaves, I learned, can be eaten raw in a salad, sauteed, or used in pesto. I had never really sought out using radish greens, but I bought some radishes from the farmer’s market and had ALL these leaves that I didn’t want to waste. They have a mild, peppery flavor similar to arugula… Mmmm… arugula.


With this recipe, I sauteed whole garlic cloves until they were brown and tender, and used one raw clove. The cooked garlic gives the pesto a nice mild garlic flavor, so if you don’t like your pesto super garlicky, I would omit the raw garlic. I love garlic, so so much, so I used both cooked and raw.


You really just add all the ingredients in a food processor and drizzle in the oil, and voila, pesto! My pesto came out a little chunky due to not finely chopping the almonds first. I highly recommend finely chopping, or grinding you almonds before adding them to the food processor. UNLESS you have a food processor that has sharp blades and you are confident in how it chops nuts (I found out mine were worn out when it was too late).


Use your pesto in pasta (I’m well aware there is shrimp on that plate. I fell off the wagon one night, okay!) or on grilled cheese, which  makes grilled cheese soooo much better than it already is. Enjoy!

Arugula and Radish Greens Pesto – makes about 1 cup

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup packed radish greens
  • 1 cup packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • about 1/2 cup olive oil

Saute 5 of the garlic cloves (whole with peel on) on medium heat in a little olive oil til golden brown. Let cool slightly and remove the peel, set aside. Finely chop almonds, and set aside.  (I seriously used three different appliances because my original, old food processor was doing nothing to the almonds, and a blender does work in grinding up the leaves, but takes a lot more time with scraping down the bowl, so I really recommend a food processor. It’ll make your life easier and there will be less washing of appliances).  In a food processor, add the arugula, radish greens, almond, garlic (cooked and the one raw clove, peeled), salt and pepper. Blend until greens are all chopped up.  With the processor on low, drizzle in the olive oil.  Stir in the parmesan, and TADA!


4 thoughts on “Arugula and Radish Greens Pesto

  1. Have I ever told you that you are a genius, and cooking wizard? I shall make this and serve up with some ravioli because I’m sick of tomato sauce, sick!

  2. Wow! This is great. I bought some pretty tasty radishes at the farmer’s market this morning and I knew I could do better than just composting the greens. I also love the idea of cooking most of the garlic. A bit easier on the stomach. It’s delicious. I’m going to serve a bit with grilled sword fish tonight.

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